Bulgari Aqua Pour Homme is one of the best aquatic perfumes I own. Released in 2005 by perfumer Jacques Cavallier this was an attempt to add something more to the fresh and clean aquatic by adding something a little less so. With a heart of chamomile and seagrass there was something here that wasn’t so readily available in the other blue bottles in the department store. As it is their wont to do Bulgari had M. Cavallier spin out numerous flankers over the years. Some are recapitulations of the original formula with a note or two added. Those are uninspiring and have never matched the original. In the examples of 2008’s Aqua Pour Homme Marine and 2013’s Aqua Pour Homme Amara M. Cavallier could continue to evolve this particular vision of the aquatic genre. It was in the latter case where he added a warm base of patchouli and olibanum as foundation to the traditional citrus and sea spray. As I spent time with Amara I was wondering what it would be like if M. Cavallier married the heftier aquatic accord of the original with the warmth of the base in Amara. The new Bulgari Aqua Pour Homme Atlantique is my answer.
I’m not sure who writes the press copy but the idea of a perfume which will be “exploring the most powerful ocean in the world” makes me giggle a little more than this kind of press copy usually does. As one who spent a lot of time in a boat on the Atlantic it just doesn’t exactly fit. Especially because the perfume that goes with it is so brilliant in its citrus opening before heading into its warmth in the base.
M. Cavallier retains the lemon-focused opening but this is lemon instead of the petitgrain used in the original. It provides a sparkly quality to go on top of the oceanic aquatic accord in the heart. The first few minutes are this glimmering zestiness. Then ambrox acts as a stand-in for ambergris. It subtracts the brininess but streamlines the rest. Then in the base sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, and benzoin form a warm and woody base accord. The sparkle of the early notes still twinkle like lens flares on the periphery of the base but this transitions to almost entirely woody by the end.
Aqua Pour Homme Atlantique has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
Atlantique is my favorite of the flankers because it isn’t a straightforward flanker. It is instead more inspired by the original than something in a direct line. In this case that is a good thing because Atlantique can stand on its own.
Disclosure: this review was based on a sample from Macy’s.